Money for Gardens storm shelter, Glades roads clear early hurdles

Bills that would provide millions of dollars for several projects in Palm Beach County on advanced out of two House appropriations subcommittees on Thursday.

“It was a successful week for Palm Beach County,” said Rebecca de la Rosa, the county’s legislative affairs director via email. “I am appreciative of the collaboration between the Palm Beach County Delegation.”

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A bill (HB 3179), sponsored by Rep. Joe Abruzzo, D-Boynton Beach, that requests $1 million for resurfacing streets in Belle Glade, Pahokee, and South Bay passed out of Appropriation’s Transportation and Tourism Subcommittee.

The committee also approved a request for $750,000 to upgrade Palm Beach Gardens’ City Hall to handle emergency operations following storms and hurricanes. The expansion will make the city hall more of an asset in those situations, said Mat Forrest, a lobbyist for the city.

The money will be combined with a $7 million local match from Palm Beach Gardens to upgrade the building, Rep. Rick Roth, R-West Palm Beach, told subcommittee members.

Meanwhile, the Ag and Natural Resources Subcommittee approved three capital projects for Riviera Beach: $1.2 million for stormwater improvement, $1.5 million to upgrade the city’s water treatment plant and $3.5 million for road improvements on Avenue H.

Other appropriation bills that advanced out of the transportation subcommittee subcommittees this week are:

  • Palm Beach Rehabilitation Cultural Arts Center (HB 2431) – $1.5 million OK’d by the Health Care Appropriations Subcommittee for a planned 10,000-square-foot building that would host activities for people with disabilities and be hurricane-hardened so it could serve as an emergency shelter for program participants.
  • Florida Atlantic University Tech Runway (HB 2365) — $3 million approved by the transportation subcommittee that would allow FAU Tech Runway to increase the number of Launch Competition ventures and upgrade the facility.
  • Florida Atlantic University Henderson Lab School (HB 2439) — $10 million, which would be matched with philanthropic dollars, OK’d by the PreK-12 Appropriations Subcommittee to pay for the design and construction of Phase I of the new A.D. Henderson School complex. A.D. Henderson is an elementary-middle school on the FAU campus in Boca Raton.
  • Riviera Beach Summer Youth Employment Program (HB 3889) — $1 million approved by the Justice Appropriations Subcommittee to provide summer employment and training opportunities to local youth and help reduce the number of youth offenders.

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